UFC on Fuel TV 6 B/R MMA Preliminary Card Predictions
The UFC makes its debut in China this weekend, hosting UFC on Fuel TV 6 at the CotaiArena in Cotai Strip, Macau.
Kicking off the preliminary card are two hungry welterweights with something to prove in the form of David Mitchell and Hyun Gyu Lim.
At bantamweight, former The Ultimate Fighter case member Alex Caceres takes on Japanese fan favorite Motonobu Tezuka.
In a middleweight scrap, Riki Fukuda takes on Tom DeBlass before the preliminary card is rounded out with a flyweight contest between Yasuhiro Urushitani and John Lineker.
Predicting the fights this week are Bleacher Report MMA Featured Columnists Dwight Wakabayashi, Matt Juul and myself, John Heinis.
Take a look inside to see who picks up the "W" on Saturday.
David Mitchell vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
Photo Courtesy of Cagewall.com
John Heinis: After going 11-0 on the independent circuit, David Mitchell desperately needs a win against Hyun Gyu Lim Saturday to avoid going 0-3 in the Octagon and likely being handed his walking papers.
Gyu Lim is hot right now, riding a five-fight win streak (all finishes), but the heavy-handed boxer has had problems with grapplers in the past.
Two of "The Ace's" losses have come via submission, while Mitchell has notched nine career wins by submission.
As long as "Daudi" can establish top control on the mat for a little while, I like his chances of snatching a limb and forcing a tap out.
David Mitchell via Round 2 submission (armbar)
Dwight Wakabayashi: Mitchell is taking his third shot at a UFC victory as a late fill-in for Marcelo Guimaraes. It is a great opportunity for him to save his spot in the promotion.
Korean fighter Hyun Gyu Lim is making his debut in the promotion and he likes to stand and bang 'em out for his blue print to victory.
Third time is a charm and all things being equal, I like the grappler over the striker due to experience and desperation.
David Mitchell via Round 2 submission
Matt Juul: After going 10-0 to kick off his career, Dave Mitchell has yet to live up to expectations since signing with the UFC. With back-to-back losses Paulo Thiago and TJ Waldburger, a loss to promotional newcomer Hyun Gyu Lim will likely mean a pink slip from Dana White.
Lim is riding an impressive five-fight winning streak heading into his UFC debut, having finished each of his opponents during the streak dating back to February of 2010. The South Korean has actually finished every one of his opponents in his last nine wins thanks mostly due to his superb striking skills.
Look for Mitchell to try to take this fight to the ground, but don't expect the Korean Top Team welterweight to roll over as Lim has two solid submission wins of his own on his resume.
Due to Lim's recent success, I'm going with the other "Ace" on this card to take this fight.
Hyun Gyu Lim via unanimous decision
Alex Caceres vs. Motonobu Tezuka
Photo Courtesy of Zimbio.com
John Heinis: Former The Ultimate Fighter contestant Alex Caceres has had a back and forth MMA career thus far, but faces a very winnable fight this time around against Motonobu Tezuka.
Tezuka has the wrestling chops to get Caceres to the ground, but he likely does not have the jiu-jitsu skills to fend off submission attempts for 15 minutes.
Given that Tezuka doesn't have particularly noteworthy ground and pound either, this is "Bruce Leeroy's" chance to get his first win streak going since May 2009.
Alex Caceres via Round 3 submission (triangle choke)
Dwight Wakabayashi: Caceres just defeated veteran Damacio Page via submission while Japanese Pancrase fighter Motonobu is a last-minute replacement and making his debut in the UFC.
Caceres was preparing to face Korean Kang Kyung-Ho and Motonobu is a slight step up. It shouldn't matter, though, and Bruce Leeroy should end this one quickly
Alex Caceres via Round 1 submission
Matt Juul: With Road FC champ Kyung Ho Kang forced off this bout due to injury, TUF alum Alex Caceres will now take on Motonobu Tezuka.
I don't really know much about the Japanese product, but he's currently riding a three-fight win streak and is also the 2009 Deep Featherweight Future King tournament winner. Not sure if that counts for anything nowadays, but interesting nonetheless.
Caceres has been pretty impressive since moving down to 135, going 2-1 in his new division with his latest win coming over Damacio Page earlier this year.
He should have the better all-around skill set, so expect "Bruce Leeroy" to add another victory to his resume against Tezuka.
Alex Caceres via Round 1 submission
Riki Fukuda vs. Tom DeBlass
Photo Courtesy of Cagewall.com
John Heinis: Riki Fukuda is another fighter who had a ton of success on the regional scene only to struggle in the Octagon, boasting a UFC record of just 1-2 since his debut at UFC 127 in Feb. 2011.
However, his loss to Nick Ring was heavily disputed to the point where he still received his win bonus for the fight. Whatever the case may be, Fukuda doesn't have it any easier in his upcoming bout against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Tom DeBlass.
DeBlass went 7-0 in the East Coast-based Ring of Combat promotion before losing a very close decision to Cyrille Diabate in his UFC debut, also a Fuel TV event, in April.
This bout is tough to call as both competitors have at least adequate striking and a solid grappling game, but I think Deblass' submission skills will be the difference-maker.
Tom DeBlasss via split decision
Dwight Wakabayashi: Tough veteran Fukuda thrilled the Japanese fans earlier this year with a win in his home country over Steve Cantwell, but he couldn't follow it up in his loss to Costa Philippou.
Fukuda is experienced, well-rounded and needs to put some momentum together. DeBlass lost his UFC debut to Cyrille Diabate.
Fukuda will be tough and savvy enough to keep his every other fight win trend going.
Riki Fukuda via unanimous decision
Matt Juul: Rising middleweight Tom DeBlass was unable to keep his undefeated streak intact when he took on Cyrille Diabate earlier this year. Ending up on the wrong side of a majority decision, the BJJ black belt will look to right his ship against Riki Fukuda.
"The Killer Bee" is also coming into this bout off a loss, dropping a unanimous decision to Costa Philippou at UFC 148.
Fukuda is a solid wrestler with heavy hands but doesn't have the submission skills of DeBlass.
However, the Japanese star has never been tapped out in his MMA career and will likely be able to defend any attempts on Saturday. It's going to be close, but I'm going with Fukuda.
Riki Fukuda via split decision
Yasuhiro Urushitani vs. John Lineker
Photo Courtesy of Tatame.com
John Heinis: Despite losing his debut at UFC on Fox 3 in May, John Lineker showed a lot of potential in a losing effort against top-10 flyweight Louis Gaudinot and has a very beatable opponent in Yasuhiro Urushitani.
Urushitani also lost his UFC debut, getting TKO'ed by Joseph Benavidez back in March. Urushitani has above-average wrestling and is pretty tough...but he doesn't have a whole heck of a lot else to offer.
Lineker has a great chin, heavy hands and decent takedown defense, so that should be all he needs to get an impressive stoppage here.
John Lineker via Round 2 KO
Dwight Wakabayashi: Another fight moved from the canceled 151 show, this fight promises to be a very tight and tough match.
Urushitani missed a great opportunity when he lost his last fight to Joseph Benavidez to gain a shot at the first flyweight title.
Let's hope the Japanese veteran is motivated to bounce back, because he has a tough match here in Lineker. Urushitani shines through counter striking, conditioning and ground control.
Lineker is coming off a very weird scenario where he missed weight coming into the fight but salvaged his name with a catchweight Fight of the Night loss against Louis Gaudinot.
A win here against a man who many still consider the very top of the division would send the youngster well on his way to big things in the UFC.
Yasuhiro Urushitani via Round 3 submission
Matt Juul: Urushitani didn't quite have the UFC debut he wanted, getting brutally TKO'd by Joseph Benavidez in the opening round of the flyweight tournament.
Likewise, Lineker suffered a vicious guillotine submission loss to Louis Gaudinot in his own UFC debut and will likely look to turn things around against his Japanese foe.
While Urushitani is the seasoned veteran, I think Lineker will pull out the upset in Macau.
John Lineker via Round 3 TKO